Mature Minors

by Mark Hughes, MD, MA

My Notes
  • Required.
Save Cancel
    Learning Material 2
    • PDF
      Slides Deciding on Capacity.pdf
    • PDF
      Download Lecture Overview
    Report mistake

    00:01 So it's something that we would consider mature minor, this is different from the emancipated minor where they're considered sort of equal to an adult and making decisions.

    00:12 So they're still a minor for, you know, most medical decisions, and you need to rely on either a parent or guardian to make decisions.

    00:20 But in some instances, you may say they're mature enough to make their own decisions.

    00:24 And again, this is going to depend on the jurisdiction where you practice medicine, and whether there's a particular age where this might be permissible for this minor to be considered mature enough to make their own decisions.

    00:38 So what's needed? They have to have the sufficient maturity, as we've talked about, as well as intelligence, to understand, and appreciate the information that you've given.

    00:47 The benefits, the risk of the treatment, as well as the longer term consequences, we generally think of adolescence only thinking about the here and now and not so much about the future.

    00:56 Well, they also have to consider the longer term consequences of the decisions that they might make right now as an adolescent.

    01:04 You want to make sure that they have the ability to make this reasoned decision based on the knowledge that you've given them, that they are making the decision for their personal benefit, you know, so again, it's a demonstration of their autonomy.

    01:16 They're saying, I see this as important for me.

    01:19 And this is going to be a personal benefit to me to go home go along with this treatment.

    01:25 The clinician, you know, the healthcare professional is going to have to say, I think this is an important enough treatment decision where if I'm going to allow this minor to make decisions for themselve.

    01:36 This isn't so important, it's so necessary, that I think it's permissible as long as they've gone through the decision making capacity assessment, that they can make this decision.

    01:47 Now, it may be the case, and this also depends on jurisdiction, that if a treatment is refused by a minor.

    01:53 There might still be a process where you go to the parent or the guardian, and that, you know, authority figure would make decisions on behalf of the minor.

    02:03 Again, it's going to depend on whether the minor is allowed to make their own decisions, or you need to involve the parents.

    02:12 Okay, so that would get you through the whole capacity assessment.

    02:16 We've talked about adults and assessing their decision-making capacity, so we've talked about minors where it might be possible for them to make their own decisions.

    02:24 Even for patients that have lack of decision making capacity, it's still important to not only think about respect for autonomy, you know, being autonomous and making your own decision, but respect for persons.

    02:36 These are still people that need our care, and we need to figure out ways to get them the best treatment they can.

    02:43 Whether it's they're making the decisions or someone's making decisions on their behalf.

    02:48 We're going to end there with decision making capacity and informed consent.

    02:51 And hopefully you'll learn more about taking care of patients in future lectures.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Mature Minors by Mark Hughes, MD, MA is from the course Informed Consent and Capacity.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Age
    2. Social development
    3. Capacity to read at a high-school level
    4. Capacity to speak
    5. Brain stem development
    1. Age over 9 but under 18
    2. Sufficient maturity and intelligence
    3. Ability to make a reasoned decision
    4. Ensuring that the treatment is for the minor's benefit
    5. Treatment deemed necessary by the health professional

    Author of lecture Mature Minors

     Mark Hughes, MD, MA

    Mark Hughes, MD, MA

    Customer reviews

    5,0 of 5 stars
    5 Stars
    4 Stars
    3 Stars
    2 Stars
    1  Star